Donnell Russell, R. Kelly’s usual manager, used to be charged Friday with making a threatening name to a The gigantic apple theater to prevent the 2018 premiere of the “Surviving R. Kelly” docuseries. The series predominant parts harrowing allegations of sexual abuse in opposition to the singer, who is awaiting trial on dozens of converse and federal sexual misconduct charges — all of which he denies.
Russell, 45, used to be charged with one depend of conspiracy to threaten bodily harm by interstate communication and one depend of threatening bodily harm by interstate communication, the Department of Justice acknowledged in a press release. Every depend carries a most of five years in penitentiary.
The criminal grievance alleges that Russell and a co-conspirator made a pair of makes an strive to end the screening, which used to be scheduled for December 4, 2018. First, he allegedly drafted an e-mail to an executive on the Lifetime television channel to discourage them from airing the docuseries. Then, he allegedly despatched the theater a end and desist letter. He furthermore allegedly tried to contact the NYPD and the New York Fire Department.
The grievance alleges that after none of those makes an strive labored, he known as the theater “to threaten that there used to be a individual within the theater with a gun willing to shoot up the Screening.” The employee he spoke with known as 911, and the theater canceled the screening and evacuated.
“By allegedly threatening a shooting on the theater, Russell prevented the screening, which used to be attended by a alternative of R. Kelly’s alleged victims,” acknowledged Appearing U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss. “Threats of gun violence geared toward intimidating and silencing victims of sexual abuse are unlawful to boot to unacceptable.”
When interviewed by authorities in August 2019, Russell admitted to sending the end and desist letters — but he denied making the threatening cell phone name, in accordance with the grievance.
The grievance entails text messages from Russell’s mother that suggest that R. Kelly used to be now now not aware of Russell’s alleged understanding.
“Be humble when (if) you look advice from Pick because you made yet any other wander without checking with him first. Although, it used to be for his attend, he can also fair now now not approve of your actions!!!” Russell’s mother acknowledged in a December 4 text to a cell phone that is believed to be Russell’s.
“My calls hang been to expose now to now not mention the girl’s title that is aiding you,” she acknowledged a day later. “Be aware, somebody in Pick’s circle would be a mole, so give her an alias!!!”
Russell and two others hang been furthermore charged on Wednesday for attempting to intimidate and silence R. Kelly’s accusers, The Associated Press reported. If that’s the case, Russell is accused of sending a letter to an accuser’s approved professional with cropped nude photos of the girl, and later texting “Pull the inch otherwise you’re going to be uncovered.”